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Alahna Kindred & Adam May & Aaron Morris

Archie Battersbee to die in hospital after High Court rejects hospice move

The family of Archie Battersbee have lost their High Court appeal, to move their son to a hospice.

Hollie Dance and Paul Batersbee have insisted that they should have the choice as to where their 12-year-old boy takes his last moments, but the courts have ruled out a transfer to a hospice.

Archie has been at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel since April, when he was found unconscious by his mother. He is currently being kept alive through a combination of medical interventions including ventilation and drug treatments.

Read more: Archie Battersbee's life support to end tomorrow after parents lose legal battle

However, his family this week lost a legal battle in the Court of Appeal to keep him on the treatment - with his doctors saying that he is brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests. And a further blow came to Hollie and Paul this morning in the form of a High Court ruling.

The Mirror reports that handing the ruling, Mrs Justice Theis said after considering the wishes of the family and the risks involved in a transfer that 'he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn'. Mrs Theis refused permission to appeal against her ruling but the family are able to pursue a challenge directly with the Court of Appeal.

Hollie Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel (PA)

She also granted a stay on the withdrawal of treatment until 2pm today, to allow the time for an appeal to be made on Archie's behalf. It is understood that the family will launch a bid with the Court of Appeal this afternoon.

Ms Dance yesterday announced that it would be 'inhumane' to not allow Archie's transfer to a hospice where he could 'have a dignified passing' and vowed to 'fight until the end'. However, on Wednesday, the Barts Health NHS Trust explained a 'considerable risk' would be raised when relocating the youngster to a hospice.

The trust explained that his 'unstable condition' poses a risk of even moving the 12-year-old within his hospital bed.

It explains: "This means that in his condition, transfer by ambulance to a completely different setting would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey. We have explained this to his family."

The hospital added that the High Court order from July 15, which has been upheld upon appeal, requires that Archie remains at the Royal London Hospital while treatment is subsequently withdrawn. Religious group, Christian Concern, who are representing the family have also noted that palliative oxygen to be given to the youngster if and when life-support is removed has also been applied for.

In this, they noted that Alfie Evans wasn't legally allowed to be given oxygen when his support was withdrawn in 2018, leading to his family giving him mouth to mouth.

12-year-old Archie Battersbee (PA)

Ms Dance said: "If Archie is denied oxygen if and when life-support is removed I will continue to give him oxygen. I pray that the High Court will do the right thing. If they refuse permission for us to take him to a hospice and for him to receive palliative oxygen it will simply be inhumane and nothing about Archie's 'dignity.'

"The whole system has been stacked against us. Reform must now come through Charlie's Law so that no parents have to go through this."

On Wednesday, the family faced another blow after the European Court of Human Rights rejected their 11th-hour application to postpone withdrawing treatment for Archie. Doctors treating him have said he was brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

It follows a dramatic week after Archie's parents were granted a Court of Appeal hearing on Monday after the Government asked judges to urgently consider a request from a UN committee to keep treating Archie while it reviews his case. Archie's life support was due to be switched off on Monday, but the Court of Appeal hearing didn't conclude until late afternoon.

The three judges considering the matter then refused to postpone the withdrawal of treatment beyond midday on Tuesday. On Tuesday, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee dramatically submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court asking for treatment to continue while the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) - and was denied.

On Wednesday, the family submitted an 11th-hour application to the European Court of Human Rights - but it was rejected. The High Court had also previously found that Archie can't feel pain and so his current treatment regime does not cause him any pain or distress.

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